Monday, March 13, 2006

The wood and the trees

Matt (in the comments) argues that the reason that it is tempting to focus upon Guantanamo Bay while leaving the butchery in Darfur uncommented on is that an elected Government can be lobbied, but there is no point in commenting on the activities of unelected ones as there is little that can be done to alter their behaviour.

This, to my dull eye, explains the difference between the 'pro-liberation Left' and the rest of the left-liberal consensus.

I thought I'd do a quick bit of research on this. The search function on Blogspot sites is a bit flaky, so I can't do this test on them. Ditto Typepad. But I've found one site that takes a critical view of the current Government's foreign policy. I don't mean to particularly pick on Bloggerheads, but - well, when your search function works properly, you open yourself to all sorts of criticism:

Here are some search results:

Search term: Guantanamo: 33 results

Search term: Darfur: .....

2 comments:

MatGB said...

Note, specifically, I said "to an extent". I also said that I don't write about either (I may have mentioned one or the other in passing, and I think Paul has mentioned Darfur, but I don't write about them).

Essentially, you asked a question, I extrapolated a possible reason; I'm not, in any way, defending, just, well, attempting to explain.

Gitmo is a policy of an allied government. An "anomaly".

Darfur is an atrocity. However, our govt has, rightly, condemned it, and appears to be doing stuff about it. Probably not enough, but, essentially, I don't feel I, personally, can influence it. Can't speak for Tim Ireland at all, his site, his topics.

Regarding 'pro-liberation' vs?

I opposed Iraq not out of some peace-nik anti-war idealism; I'd beena rguing for interventions in Afghanistan/F-Yugoslavia, etc and that the Taliban should be stopped (and then later deposed) for years.

I opposed Iraq because it was obviously badly thought through, was justified for sompletely the wrong reasons, planning was incomplete and it was diverting resources away from Afghanistan, and that has, blatently, been a disaster.

Hussein should have been removed in 1991. The uprising post-Kuwait should have been supported, not allowed to be destroyed (GHBush's "better the devil you know" justification for that one ranks him as a very evil man in my mind, forever), but going in at the time the did, in the way they did, with the belief that they'd be welcomed and that there would be little post-attack opposition was dangerous.

I said all of this at the time. Hindsite? I was 100% right.

Doesn't change my observation that people may be more inclined to condemn the policies of a Govt that are wrong than they are to support the policies of a Govt that are right.

Darfur is horrible. But Gitmo is a policy of an allied power and is completely unjustifiable.

I tend to look at things from a systemic perspective; let people deal with day-to-day issues, I'll figure out long-term solutions to the root cause. Across the board approach to most things.

Darfur is a symptom. It needs to be fixed, but it's a symptom nonetheless. If we keep healing symptoms without dealing witht he cause, we'll never get anywhere.

A true progressive approach is to deal with root causes, surely? Hence internationalism, reform institutions, try to improve the system.

Oh. Mat

Mat-Thew. It's how I've written it since I was a kid...

Tim said...

I am not a liberal commentator or a comprehensive news outlet, I'm more of a one-man war on the war on verbs. Guantanamo is tied directly to that.